To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time: CLICK HERE!
17 year old Verda was the Valedictorian for her High School class from Fitchburg High School in central Massachusetts. Verda was a brilliant student who plans to study Biochemistry at Harvard, on her way to a medical career.
After her Valedictorian speech, the principal announced the recipient of the school’s annual General Excellence Award, given each year to a graduating senior. The prize includes a $10,000 scholarship, which can be renewed for up to four years. This year’s recipient was Verda.
Verda happily accepted the award to the cheers of her classmates. But when she sat down, she says, “it hit me”. This is $40,000. That’s a lot of money, obviously, I could use it. But there is definitely someone sitting in this crowd that needs it more.
So Verda, got up, and went to the podium. She apologized for interrupting the ceremony and then said in a trembling voice, “I am so grateful for this. But I also know that I am not the one who needs this the most. Knowing that my mom went to community college, and how much that was helpful, I would be so grateful if the administration would consider giving the General Excellence Scholarship to someone who is going to Community College.
Her fellow classmates and the crowd at that ceremony cheered and rose in a standing ovation. The school superintendent said later, “everybody got it. What we witnessed was the ultimate in generosity.”
Verda and her mother, Rosemary, came to Massachusetts from Ghana when Verda was 8 years old. Her mother has been an inspiration. Rosemary got her associates degree from a local community college at the age of 47 – while working full time – caring for people with disabilities and raising Verda and her three siblings.
Verga said after the graduation, “we are blessed to be a blessing”. I thought that I was in the position where God has blessed me so much, and I thought it was the right thing to do, to bless someone else.
This, my friends is what today’s reading are about. This is what the Eucharist (Holy Communion) is about.
God’s generosity to people throughout history, continuing through so many acts of generosity, sharing, caring, loving and more. By people not only of the past, but also of today.
Like Verda, may God gives us the wisdom to live lives that are grounded in the Eucharist.
The Eucharist that not only feeds and nourishes us, but allow us to sustain others along our daily journey of life and faith as person, family and Parish.